Roads Go Ever On And On

Well I finished the first four Hitchhiker’s books, and my library delivered Tolkien’s Fall of Gondolin. So, now I’m off for a tour of Middle Earth.

Fall of Gondolin is the last book JRR’s son Christopher has compiled from his various notes. It’s less a story and more of a literary archaeological dig, and Christopher takes us through three attempts at the story. It’s very interesting to get such a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how the story evolved, and to get far more details than appeared in the Silmarillion. If you’re into writing, or really into Tolkien, I suggest you pick this one up.

Of course, while reading this my chronic back decided to act up again, so without being able to go to the library or bookstore I settled down to my annual Tolkientrek. The Hobbit was always a fast read, especially when you’re flat on your back for extended periods. In fact, as I recall I was bedridden the first time I read it. Actually, for some reason my sister Debbie started reading it to me then and didn’t get very far, but I got hooked and ended up reading the rest on my own. I’ve read the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy repeatedly over the years, and enjoy it every time.

Editor’s Note: The Rankin-Bass cartoons were mildly interesting, with songs that are still stuck in my head to this day. Also, Gollum’s voice in my head varies between Andy Sirkis and the cartoon voice. I’m not going to even mention the first LOTR move attempt – that was a disaster.

I’m part way through the Fellowship of the Ring, and as with the Hobbit I can hear the live actors’ voices in my head. It’s a longer read, but I enjoy how Tolkien paints a scene and his handling of dialog is superb. I could do without some of the songs, but…

5. Fall of Gondolin
6. Hobbit
7. Fellowship of the Ring
8. Two Towers
9. Return of the King

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